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Olympus E-PL10 vs E-PL5

The Olympus PEN E-PL10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2019 and September 2012. Both the E-PL10 and the E-PL5 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-PL10 versus Olympus E-PL5
Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600) ISO 200-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8.6 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
350 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
117 x 68 x 39 mm, 380 g 111 x 64 x 38 mm, 325 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus PEN E-PL10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL5? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL5 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-PL10 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, blue, white), while the E-PL5 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).

Size Olympus E-PL10 vs Olympus E-PL5
Compare E-PL10 versus E-PL5 top
Comparison E-PL10 or E-PL5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL5 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Olympus E-PL10. Moreover, the E-PL5 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the E-PL10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL10 nor the E-PL5 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the E-PL10 gets 350 shots out of its BLS-50 battery, while the E-PL5 can take 360 images on a single charge of its BLS-5 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Oct 2019 599 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599 i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV 122 mm 84 mm 49 mm 383 g 360 n Aug 2020 699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL9 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 599 i
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 III 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i
6.
 
Olympus E-PL8 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549 i
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649 i
8.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699 i
9.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599 i
10.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999 i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL6 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599 i
12.
 
Olympus E-PM2 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 269 g 360 n Sep 2012 499 i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

In terms of chip-set technology, the E-PL10 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VIII) than the E-PL5 (TruePic VI), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-PL10 and Olympus E-PL5 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-PL10 and the E-PL5 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-PL10 is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) than the E-PL5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Olympus PEN E-PL10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL5 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

E-PL10 versus E-PL5 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
2.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.3889 72
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p...... ..
4.
 
Olympus E-PL9 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 III Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
6.
 
Olympus E-PL8 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.5842 73
8.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.3884 72
9.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.4873 72
10.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.4895 72
11.
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
12.
 
Olympus E-PM2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.2932 72
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.3499 52

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-PL10 provides a higher video resolution than the E-PL5. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the E-PL5 is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-PL10 and the E-PL5 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the E-PL5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-PL10 and Olympus E-PL5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 15.0 Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL9none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 III2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
6.
 
Olympus E-PL8optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
9.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
12.
 
Olympus E-PM2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-PL10 has one, while the E-PL5 does not. While the built-in flash of the E-PL10 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the E-PL10 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Olympus E-PL10 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-PL10 and the E-PL5 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus PEN E-PL10 and Olympus PEN E-PL5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IVYstereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL9Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-PL8Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-PM2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---

It is notable that the E-PL10 offers wifi support, while the E-PL5 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The E-PL10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the E-PL5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-PL5 was succeeded by the Olympus E-PL6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL5? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL10:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VIII vs TruePic VI).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the E-PL5 launch.


Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL5:

  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x64mm vs 117x68mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 55g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL10 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-PL10 09:04 E-PL5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-PL10 and the Olympus E-PL5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-PL10 or the E-PL5. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-PL10....77/100..4/5 Oct 2019 599 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IV4.5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2020 699 i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL9..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2018 599 i
5.
 
Olympus E-M10 III..+80/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i
6.
 
Olympus E-PL8......4.5/54/5 Sep 2016 549 i
7.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649 i
8.
 
Olympus E-M104/5..80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699 i
9.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+..5/54/5 Aug 2014 599 i
10.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999 i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL6.......... May 2013 599 i
12.
 
Olympus E-PM23/5..77/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499 i
13.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Olympus E-PL10:
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Olympus E-PL5:
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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-PL10 vs Olympus E-PL5

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2019 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor TruePic VIII TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 12.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 889
    Screen Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 8.6 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sno E-Shutter
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Olympus E-PL10 Olympus E-PL5
    Battery Type BLS-50 BLS-5
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    111 x 64 x 38 mm
    (4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 380 g (13.4 oz) 325 g (11.5 oz)

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